Tokyo-London-Sydney, 28 June 2005 NeuroSolutions Ltd (NeuroSolutions) and Sosei Co. Ltd. (4565, Tokyo Stock Exchange MOTHERS index), today announced that they have identified a candidate development compound for the treatment of neuropathic pain. This discovery results from the collaboration agreement between the two companies which in 2004 brought together Sosei’s Drug Reprofiling Platform® (DRP®) and NeuroSolutions’ proprietary drug activity assay platforms.
The DRP® has enabled Sosei to establish a portfolio of compounds, most of which have been studied in clinical trials but were discontinued as development candidates for reasons other than serious toxicity. This strategy is expected to decrease the risk of development failures. NeuroSolutions has used its platform technology based on classical pharmacology and proprietary new biology technologies to reprofile Sosei’s DRP® compounds for new therapeutic indications, such as neuropathic pain. This compound known as DRP-043 (NeuroSolutions code: NSL-043) was originally developed in Japan for a different indication but was terminated by its originator due to a lack of advantage at a late clinical stage.
Patent applications seeking protection of proprietary rights in this new invention have been filed. Intellectual property rights generated by the collaboration will be shared between Sosei and NeuroSolutions. NeuroSolutions now intends to raise funds to co-develop the compound with Sosei.
Dr Mark Treherne, Chairman of NeuroSolutions said, "We are delighted to announce this discovery which results from our neurological expertise and proprietary technologies. This discovery follows on from the successful working relationship we have had with Sosei and further increases our visibility in Japan".
Mr Shinichi Tamura, Sosei's Chief Executive Officer said, "We believe this is an exciting opportunity both clinically and commercially. Neuropathic pain is associated with a number of long term disease states such as Multiple Sclerosis and Diabetic Neuropathy, and improved treatments are therefore highly sought after. We will be working closely with NeuroSolutions and the originator company in Japan to validate these findings as quickly as possible”.
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Notes for editors
1. Neuropathic Pain - background
Neuropathic pain is defied by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) as ‘any pain syndrome in which the predominating mechanism is a site of aberrant somatosensory processing in the peripheral or central nervous system. Some clinical neuroscientists restrict this definition to pain originating in peripheal nerves and nerve roots.’
Despite continuing intensive research, the treatment of these disorders remains surprisingly poor. Current therapies for neuropathic pain and post-operative hyperalgesia are based on “off label” use of gabapentin, CNS depressants or largely ineffective long-term opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). New participants in the neuropathic pain market have been greatly encouraged by this unmet medical need among end-users, as it provides them with the perfect opportunity to move into this space. It is forecasted that revenues in the sector will rise from $2.48 billion in 2003 to $4.83 billion by 2010 (Frost & Sullivan, 2004).
2. DRP® (Drug Reprofiling Platform®)
The aim of DRP® is to identify new medical uses and unexploited commercial potential in compounds licensed from Japanese pharmaceutical companies. Sosei’s substantial portfolio of secured compounds have been into clinical development but were halted for reasons other than serious toxicity or are already on the Japanese market. Sosei uses a combination of classical pharmacology and new technologies to re-evaluate these compounds. Through its extensive business development network established with US/EU platform technology companies, Sosei has signed DRP® agreements with 27 biotech companies to date representing leading profiling technologies.
3. About NeuroSolutions
NeuroSolutions Limited is a profitable service company, applying its broad expertise and drug discovery platforms to become a leading provider of specialised electrophysiological assays to the biopharmaceutical industry. Electrophysiology is a specialised technique which is used to record electrical activity in membranes, cells, tissues or in vivo. NeuroSolutions current clients include many established pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In parallel to running its service business, the Company is also exploiting its in house technologies and expertise for its own internal R&D and has a mature pipeline of programmes underway for the treatment of pain. For further information about NeuroSolutions, please visit www.nsolns.com.
4. About Sosei Co. Ltd.
Sosei Co. Ltd. founded in 1990 by Shinichi Tamura, the ex-CEO of Genentech Japan, is a leading Japanese biopharmaceutical company with significant expertise in drug development. It enriches its core product pipeline by in-licensing compounds from Western and Japanese companies, by its distinctive Drug Reprofiling Platform® (DRP®) and through new molecular entity (NME) research programmes in collaboration with biopharmaceutical companies and universities both in Japan and the West. Sosei is also developing its own sales and marketing organization in Japan. The company is capitalising on its extensive global network established over the past 10 years in its successful technology transfer business. For further information about Sosei, please visit www.sosei.com.